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review 2019-12-10 21:36
A solid if unremarkable pair of adventures
The Man Who Mastered Time / Overlords From Space - Joseph Kelleam,Ray Cummings

The more Ace Doubles I read, the more I come to appreciate how varied the experience of reading them can be. For all of their similarity of their size, their plot-driven approach, and their cover art (which typically consists of square-jawed white dudes inflicting violence on aliens or some other evildoers, often with a woman somewhere in the scene recoiling in terror), the quality and nature of the books can vary widely.

 

This pair provided the best reflection yet of these differences. Ray Cummings's The Man Who Mastered Time was unusual in that it was not an original work but a reprint of a 1920s story which reads like a riff on H.G. Wells's famous novelette The Time Machine. In it, a father-and-son duo of scientists stumble across a process that allows them to peer into the indeterminate future. Witnessing a beautiful girl imperiled by a thuggish brute, the two turn a hoverable aeroplane into a time machine, which the hormonally-driven son uses to travel thousands of years into the future to rescue the maiden. He soon finds himself in the midst of a political struggle between the people of an ice-age north and the remaining civilization, which has retreated to the Caribbean and reflects a class divide that ol' Herbert George would have found familiar (seriously, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find that he sued for copyright infringement). The young man soon summons his father for aid, and with the help of a friend, aid the civilized underdogs against the barbarian hordes. There are some aspects of the novel – such as the employment of "girls" in combat – that but for the most part it's a prime piece of pulp science fiction, and while it had it's share of problematic elements (the scientist's friend zeroing in on the beautiful girl's teenage sister seemed a little predatory even for the time) I enjoyed it for the action adventure it was.

 

The other novel was Joseph Kelleam's Overlords from Space. Here there was a real contrast with Cummings's novel; whereas Cummings has heroic adventurers as his protagonist, Kelleam's novel centers around humans enslaved by the Zarles, an alien species who conquered the Earth two centuries before. Though their domination of the Earth seems absolute, the ostensibly immortal Zarles are slowly dying from terrestrial disease. Worse they cannot reproduce, and the remaining Zarles are contemplating destroying the Earth and moving on elsewhere. It's a different premise from the ones I expect from the time, though the plot itself moves to familiar beats involving freedom, the discovery of resources and allies that can even the odds, and a climactic battle in which the outcome isn't really in doubt. In this respect it's as much a product of its time as Cummings's older novel (which ends, I kid you not, with a Jazz Age party), though one that proved entertaining enough to see through to its end.

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text 2019-12-10 21:12
24 Festive Tasks: Door 24 - Epiphany: Book
Star over Bethlehem: Christmas Stories and Poems - Simon Vance,Agatha Christie

 

Well, most of the short stories are decidedly on the preachy side (never mind whether written for children or adults) -- and of course it didn't help in the least to have Simon Vance as a reader, highlighting that fact even further -- but the poetry is lovely, even if occasionally a bit derivative (of Shakespeare, no less).

 

And it's got a star prominently on the cover, so I'm claiming this as my book for Epiphany.

 

(Task: Read a book featuring three main characters, about traveling on a journey to a faraway place, a book that’s part of a trilogy, with a star on the cover, with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title, or concerning kings or spices.)

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review 2019-12-10 19:00
IN THE HEART OF THE FIRE by Dean Koontz, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
In the Heart of the Fire - Dean Koontz

I was expecting a dog, a good guy and a bad guy. I got all 3, but in spite of that, I liked this short story.

 

The above is the reason I quit reading Koontz in the first place. It seemed to me that all of his books were the same. After WATCHERS and a few other Koontz books made me fall quickly in love with him, the re-use of that same formula over and over again made me fall out of love with him just as quickly.

 

I like the mystery surrounding Nameless, and I'm in to see what happens next.

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review 2019-12-10 18:45
THE NIGHTMARE ROOM by Chris Sorensen
The Nightmare Room - Chris Sorensen

THE NIGHTMARE ROOM starts off as a great haunted house tale but then evolves into something else altogether. I loved it!

 

Peter and his wife Hannah return to Peter's hometown after a family tragedy. A fresh start in Maple City is just what they needed. Moving into an old farmhouse, disturbing things begin to happen, (as they often do in these types of tales), and from there, hang on tight because it's a crazy ride!

 

Fast paced with characters I could really root for, I found it difficult to put this book down. I know everyone says that, and I know that the week it took me to read this book doesn't seem that fast. However, with everything I had going on in real life over the last 2 weeks, it truly is a miracle I was able to read anything at all. This is a testament to the quality and pace of the writing.

 

Will Peter and his wife get to the bottom of what is going on in their old farmhouse? Will they survive it if they do? You'll have to read this to find out! This was my first read from author Chris Sorensen and I'm starting part 2 in THE MESSY MAN series today. That should be another indicator of how much fun I had with this book!

 

Highly recommended!

 

Get your copy here: THE NIGHTMARE ROOM

 

*Thanks to the author for the signed paperback copy he sent in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*

 

**I apologize that it took so long to read this book. I regret it!**

 

***I had already purchased the Kindle copy of this book when the author contacted me, which is why my review on Amazon shows as a verified purchase.***

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text 2019-12-10 16:24
Coming Soon: Soul Seeks The Truth by Fizza Younis

Synopsis

This collection will contain some of my earlier works. The stories with an underlying theme of 'soul searching' and characters that everyone can relate to. These are the stories about people on a quest to unravel life's purpose and mysteries. Sometimes they succeed but not always. Either way, there is something to be learned from their stories.
 
So, here is the sneak peek of the stories in the collection;
 
When life isn't what it seems to be and you're given a choice... Would you make it what it's supposed to be or face eternal regret? Remember, 'Souls Don't Tell Lies.'
 
When the silence is so loud that you can't even hear your own voice... Listen to your soul seeking the truth through 'Deafening Silence.'
 
Important things can be 'Lost in Time,' never to be found again. Some people have so much of what they don't even want while, others have nothing.
 
When your anger consumes your soul and the only thing that is left behind is a stranger in disguise. Can you trust this 'Stranger in Town' or not?
 
For some souls, happily-ever-after isn't even an option. But even if the universe conspires again them, they're determined to be 'Together Forever.'
 
Sometimes what you already have is far better than what you seek and some dreams are meant to be forgotten. There is no point in 'Chasing a Ghost.'
 
They've secrets and 'A Dream That Never Was.' After all, some things should never be a secret and some dreams aren't meant to be.
 
'All That We Know' might not be all that we need to know. But can relationships survive when the light of truth is shone upon them?
 
Death isn't something to be afraid of. 'Death, I don't Fear' but the knowledge of what's coming next can be a scary thing to deal with.
 
Knowing that kindness and love are the most precious gifts of all. The more you understand that more you'd want 'A Life Worth Living.'
Source: iambookseater.blogspot.com/2019/12/coming-soon-soul-seeks-truth-by-fizza.html
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